Showing posts from August, 2010

Excuse Me, but Where's the "bon" in Bon Temps?

Being "let down" by something involves having pretty high expectations about whatever "it" is at the outset--or at least going into it with some high hopes--only to be met, in the end, with disappointment.

Bearing that in mind, I actually wasn't as let down as I thought I'd be by Dead in the Family, Charlaine Harris' tenth (and most recent) entry in what has become her inordinately-popular series featuring Bon Temps, Louisiana waitress/telepath/lover-of-supernatural-beings Sookie Stackhouse (and a whole slew of those friendly and not-so-friendly "supes"; namely vampires, werewolves and other shapeshifters, and an assortment of decidedly un-Tinkerbell-like fairies).

After more or less enjoying the down-homey charm mixed with mayhem of the first seven books in this series, I was really let down by the eighth and ninth (due to their scattershot, everything-but-the-kitchen sink plotting and a very different--and considerably less-enjoyable--"…

A Taste of Freedom... or a Taste of Poison?

Maybe it's the near-total absence of any modern technology, or perhaps it's nothing more than the simple yearning for something totally different (the "grass is always greener" syndrome)... but whatever the reason, there's this special sort of magic that I often feel when reading something set in the long-ago past--especially if it's a past full of horses and castles. (No, I never once actually wished for a pony as a child... although I wouldn't have minded living in my very own castle for awhile. Of course, the lack of electricity and questionable indoor "plumbing" would have made the whole castle dream fall apart pretty quickly, so... yeah, it's probably for the best that particular wish was never fulfilled.)

A lot of people like to read about yesteryear because they think it evokes a more "innocent" time, but I disagree. After all, there's certainly no shortage of "bad stuff" going on in most historical books; for …

How to Deal with Fluffy (or Tom or Sweetiepie or Whatever Cat You Have)

"And now, for something completely different..." I've always loved that bit from the days of Monty Python's Flying Circus, so today, I've decided to try my own version of "something completely different" (although it really shouldn't be completely unexpected... unless, of course, you're the sort to blindly scroll past the occasional pix of a certain luscious boycat who happens to have my undying devotion, in which case there's just no hope for you).

One of THE cutest--and flat-out coolest--informational/help books, ever, I bring you... The Cat Owner's Manual (Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance). Touting itself as a "beginner's guide to feline technology", this is definitely not your run-of-the-mill cat book.

Hey, you, raising your eyebrows and wearing the skeptical expression... juststop that, right now. Take it from me, if you're a "cat person", there's a whol…

Leaping off the Edge... and into the Weird

It's hard working up much excitement about rereading most books; once a tale has been told and whatever suspense it held is gone, there's little incentive to spend scarce reading time in going over old ground. Like, meh.

If I am going to reread a book, though, there'd better be some pretty spectacular characters involved--ones that can reel me in despite the fact that I already know what's going to happen.

So, when I found myself on three separate flights over a four-day period last weekend--trusty Kindle tucked away in my purse as befitting such a faithful travel companion--I clicked through my existing e-library for something to alleviate the boredom of flying solo. My main requirement was that it be something I hadn't read in awhile, but would enjoy revisiting. (Even better, in terms of the blog, would be something I'd never gotten around to reviewing.) Lo and behold, I found just such a book. (And, since the sequel to my selection is set to drop at the end …

Love, Hate, and Fear in the Big Apple

At the end of the day, it all boils down to love (or lust), doesn't it? Well, maybe not for everyone; some people are perfectly happy without such pesky distractions cluttering up their lives, of course. But for most of us, it's safe to say that we're pretty much at the whims of our hearts (or libidos, for the more cynically-minded out there). Whatever that ineffable spark is--the thing that makes our stomachs do crazy somersaults and causes a few other parts to get all warm and tingly, once we experience it we might as well accept that we're goners, and just buckle up to go along for the ride.

Unfortunately, though, our hearts and libidos as often as not decide to be bloomin' idiots, neither knowing nor caring what's best for us. Compounding matters, too many of us just aren't that mentally or emotionally stable, to start with... and that, naturally, is where a whole mess of problems begin.

New York City police detective Ellie Hatcher finds herself investi…